Thursday, April 4, 2013

Day 117 the hill is getting even more tired than me

Yes, the whole season is winding down with conditions slowly dribbling away to spring, our bodies suffering the cumulative effect of 100+ days skiing and nothing new for the last two weeks even beginning to tempt me to try something out of the ordinary. Today we didn't even have the sun of the bluebird days that we have been having, it was overcast but warm (starting temps of +1 going to +12 by the end of the day) so the everything just warmed up and mushed without having frozen overnight to give us a firm base to work on.

We went to the Old Side and found everything softening in the warming conditions so we had a few runs in Lizard bowl, some on what had been groomers (Bear) and some on ungroomed lines (Arrow). About the best skiing was China Wall which has now turned to big bumps but you do have to watch out for the bare patches.

By way of experiment I dropped off the chutes between Bear top and Alpine Way and found them becoming rather soft even early in the day. We cut into Cedar Centre which at least had the advantage of having been ice and so skied soft on a firm base. Kangaroo was still closed in the top so we cut in at the Cedar Trail level and found it pretty soft but ok in the bumps. After that we just poked around Cedar Ridge (soft) King Fir (softer) always returning via lower Kangaroo. Everything off skiers right of North Ridge (Boom, Boom Ridge, Linda's etc) remained closed so with so few options we headed for the New Side just before mid day.

We found Puff was soft and taking an edge on a firm base. Up Polar Peak yet again the only way down was Polar Coaster which had been groomed in the top but from the bumps and the rocks you would neve have guessed it. We had a couple of ok loops while looking out at the weather which was gathering somewhere out to the west and then ran for base and lunch through Currie Powder which was just about ok and Gilmar Gully which was soft bumps and great slow motion bump skiing.

After lunch I took a trip up to Lizard with the intention of taking the high traverse and then traversing Easter bowl and side stepping up into the Big Three. I didn't really expect the conditions to be much good but it was something to do and somewhere different to go. In the event it didn't matter as the high traverse was closed. As luck would have it I got tangled up with the professional ski circus that is in town for the Monster Head Wall Chinese Down Hill scheduled for the next few days starting in Richrds run tomorrow

No one seemed to be that impressed by the conditions any more than they were when I tangled with them at the top of Polar Peak where I next encountered them looking into the top of Richards. I looped Polar Peak several times waiting to see what was going to happen and when nothing did I ran to base via Currie Powder and Gilmar Gully which was just as before.

I went back up Polar Peak for the last three loops of the day making 8 times in all I had been up there without ever really intending to and found it soft in the Coaster as always. I had hoped for some action on the Peak at closing time but when I found myself alone up there after last chair I did a non stop (actually I did rip through a Non Stop Group) run through Currie Powder and Gilmar Gully to Timber.

This all just gave me time to get up Timber and down Puff, making the last White Pass chair with 40 seconds to spare. It was apparent that some serious heli bombing was about to take place but as it was choice of hanging about to watch this or drink beer I had another non stop run to base.

In the bar tonight I asked about the plans for tomorrows Monster event but was told that it was secret - well guys, as it has been announced on the radio I am prepared to guess that it will be on Richards if conditions allow which they won't due to ice in the choke, debrise in the bottom and the fact that the top will be socked in by cloud tomorrow. This means the time trial will take place in the Polar chutes and down Currie Powder assuming the sock in allows even that - or so the radio says, so I guess it must be true.

Outlook is for minus temps and snow by Monday, could the Griz have one last treat for us ?

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